We finally managed a day that at least started out looking sunny, but it did deteriote. However no rain. Bonus!
A short stop to catch up on our local Willie Wagtails nesting. All seemed well, and as this pair have been washed and blown off the branch in their past two attempts, it is heartening to see them back on the job.
We also walked about part of the Werribee Mansion precinct and EE managed to spot at least four Wagtails at work on various stages of nesting.
The Hobby pair have also shown they have been able to weather the various weathers that have been given them and have two rather well developed young chicks on the nest. Given the days of constant rain, and exceedingly high winds its says a lot of for these birds to have survived. I had, I must admit begun to think they might have abandoned the project.
EE was at her alert best and found four nesting sites. It seems the Willies have figured out the dreadful weather might be gone, and are keen to make up for lost time.
Willies have, it seems two major nesting strategies. I’ve noted over the years that its possible to find a pair building a nest on a branch out in the open. No surrounding cover. In your face. I’m here, “This is Me!”
The second strategy is one of the furtive, hide-away in the deepest part of the a thickly covered bush or tree and, Ha! Let someone try and find us in there. I once had one that had nested in what can best be describes as the very centre of a Prickly Wattle bush (Acacia paradoxa) Each time getting into and out of the nest damaged some feathers. The clutch was well protected from self-serving Ravens and other thieves. They fledged three young.
And occasionally there is one that just seems to go for location, location, location, a bit like Goldilocks. Not too open, not too hidden.
I have to say that over the years, each method has had its successes and failures, so its hard to conclude one is better. I think it just depends on how stubborn the pair are.
Went to look for Seraphema and see if she was still in residence. Along the way came upon a White-faced Heron that seemed to have started a nest, but wasn’t sure if it should be completed. There was lots of calling disussion among the pair, but not much building. Time will tell.
And EE managed to locate a pair of Magpie larks engaged in the fun of building their mud house. The male popped down on the ground for a quick snack or two with his black apron all covered in mud flecks.
And so to the business in hand. The male Hobby deposited a catch into Serpaphema’s waiting claws and a few minutes later she headed to the nest.
After a feed, the two young climbed to the top of the nest for a look about and a wing-stretch.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, here comes a small essay.
And just as I was leaving I found a young Red-rumped Parrot sitting on a fence line. The soft light seemed to grace those lovely young colours
Not sure if you’ve seen this, but here is a link to an ABC story on a Raptor Rehabilitation Centre.
Birds of Prey Rehab
3 thoughts on “From the Field Notes Book: Nesting”
Those Willies are tenacious, aren’t they! A great series of photographs, and thanks too for the link to the ABC story on the raptor hospital, which I hadn’t seen.
Days like that have been few and far between lately, David!
A splendid set of images!
The Willies are persistent in every thing they do, from nest building to harassing raptors!
Wonderful to see the Hobby chicks too!
Hopefully there will be more good days ahead!
A beautiful showcase of the local Willy nests and progress report David, they are such determined, resilient and feisty little birds. They do not give up easily. Seeing the Hobby so close would be a concern for me as a Willy, though I guess they believe they have it under control. As for the Heron, yes it has a way to go yet, and may need to Google up a floor plan Of course the little Red-rump is a delight in the soft light and beautifully postured also. Enjoy your week my friend. 🙂